Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Little Story About A BIG Boy (SPD)

There was a mother who was blessed with a precious little blessing who was born in Africa.  When she went to Africa to bring her baby home, the first words that where told to her by the nanny in the baby house was that my new son was “very big”.  And it was true, for a baby growing up in an orphanage in a 3rd wold country, he was surprisingly large, and our big adventure with this little guy had just begun.  As the boy grew the mother began to notice his insatiable craving for movement, noise and action!!! And LOTS OF IT.  She teasingly began to say that her little man did everything BIG...living, laughing, tantrums and loving.  She noticed that he climbed higher and lived more dangerously than other 3 year olds, that he had amazing strength and a low tolerance to pain, that he tried really hard to “be good” but tended to be in trouble a lot, that his level of activity was usually supersonic, that he had problems with self-regulation, that he was CONSTANTLY in motion - even at night (every since he was a baby he had banged his head on the floor), that he loved crashing, bashing, bumping, jumping, and roughhousing, that he constantly touched things and invaded others space, just to name a few.  As her little man turned 4 and his strength, ability and energy level climbed, this poor and tired mother began to think that may by there was something different with her little man.”
This story is of course true and is about Aiden and me.  You could say I “hit a wall” in trying to figure out what to do with him and his INTENSEness in every area of our lives.  I am wore out most days by the time Steve cames home from constantly trying to put a protective shield around my little tornado us and our house. We have fixed 4 holes in our walls where he went down the stairs and hit the wall - with.his.head - it never even hurt him.  We have holes in doors where he dropped chairs.  He broke my nose when he accidentally was giving me a hug.  I tell him to jump on the floor and not the couch and he smiles at me and say “I was just kissing it” (and he REALLY means it). Well, I decided it was time to find some help.  
So I got sick.
Yup, I started getting sick Sunday and it got worse last night and I have been in bed all day today.  But I have put my time to good use and have been doing a lot of research and lookin’ into how to help my little man.
I had read a book which I saw at this blog by Lisa called Sensational Kids, by Lucy Jane Miller several months ago and teasing told Steve then that I really thought Aiden might have some Sensory Processing “red flags” in the Sensory Seeking area, but then I kind of let it go.  Well, I picked it back up yesterday and really felt that Steve and I needed to look into this.  And our little Aiden has MORE THAN ONE of the red flags for the Sensory Seekers.  
What is Sensory Processing Disorder?  You can find out here...Hartley did such a good job that I don’t feel I need to rewrite it.  You can also read her article on Sensory Seekers if you want to here.
Here are a few exerts for the Sensational Kids book that really stood out to me.
“Sensory seekers are often responsive, creative, and fun to be around.  They can be immensely enjoyable.  But when their drive for sensory stimulation is running their lives and running the lives of those around them, they can be overwhelming, too.”
“...the sensory craver’s extreme need for sensation is on a constant collision course with behavioral expectations.  The headlong rush to sensation not only appears willful but can and does lead to injuries and property damage.”
I decided to share here about our walk with Aiden as we learn what we need to do to support him as he grow up to be all that the LORD has created him to be.  Just as we did when we struggled with Kalyn’s learning needs (which is Dyslexia), I want to learn about Aiden’s needs and how to best help him.  
So stay tuned, there will be more to come on this...may be (if I can possibly keep up with him), I will write a “day in the life” of our little energizer.


  1. Praise God you might be finding the answer and God will reveal exactly how to best take care of him. Praying for you to get rest and feel better!

    Lots of hugs and love!

  2. I look forward to hearing more about your journey, I have often wondered about N's sensory processing...although it's not all the time. Praying for you as you continue this journey.

  3. He is just like our JOHN. WOW! John-John came home at 3 too and I could have written this word for word down to the part about him being so big.

    We have done some things around here after discovering he has sensory issues. It has made such a difference. I have been meaning to do a blog post about it.

  4. Shonni,
    We have two sensory seekers at our house and it is EXHAUSTING!!! I have also been hit in the nose several times while getting a hug. It is hard not to yell and scream. Looking forward to learning along side of you. Bear hugs work sometimes with our son when he needs a little extra input.

  5. VERY interesting! Thank you for sharing

  6. Welcome to the world of SPD! It is amazing how much energy they can have, and amazing how some of they therapies and plain old movements can help them learn to focus!

    God Bless you in this journey with your son.

  7. What an adorable boy you have! My oldest is definitely a seeker - and when he was a preschooler, he was always on the go, crashing into things, but laughing while he did it.

    I sure hope you continue to find the resources you need - please let me know if I can help. :)


  8. We are on a similar journey with our little Myra. Is lives VERY BIG too! I can't wait to learn from you as you start your journey to better...

  9. Interesting, I had not heard of sensory seekers before. But it sure sounds like a friend I used to know. I hope ya'll find answers.

  10. What an amazing little man you have there! He's doing to do big things with his life i'm sure.
    Thanks for sharing about this. I didn't know there was such a thing as sensory seekers before.

    Have you read the book The Gift of Dyslexia? It's really good.

    Merry Christmas!

  11. Yes Melissa, I have read that book and it was WONDERFUL. Kalyn read it also and really liked it.

  12. Shonni...our Cana has pretty severe SPD. I'd love to chat with you and see if I can help in anyway! After many drs. visits with OT's & PT's & no real help, we ultimately saw a wonderful, christian neurodevlopmentalist. She was able to peg Cana perfectly and develop an IN-HOME therapy program for her. We have seen great improvement in our baby girl! (who's 4 also) Praying for you!!! ~stacy

  13. one more thing...there is a great, simplistic video on the right hand side of my blog...it's been a great tool in trying to share with family what SPD means for our daughter. blessings!

  14. As you were describing Aiden, I thought, "Sensory issues." :) Been there to some degree and have done the research. My sister adopted a child who was a sensory seeker and she found out that he loved to vacuum. It was so great for him because it calmed him right down and my sister had clean floors. Win-win! :)

  15. Sign him up for football and get him a heavy punching bag when he is older! He will love it! Our 10 yr old daughter is at the opposite end of the spd spectrum with some adhd thrown in! We started "brushing" her. She over reacts to stimuli and pain. Surprisingly she really likes the brushing. This might be a good thing for Aiden but check with someone 1st. Our 16 yr old nephew is JUST LIKE Aiden. He has always been a bull in a china shop! He loves to rough house with the younger kids but ends up hurting someone every time! He plays high school football. They just tell him to go and don't stop and he does, right over top of the other team! He also lifts weights and turns wood! (He makes the most beautiful bowls and sculptures.) Not what you would expect from the bull! Be sure not to limit what you expect Aiden to want to do or love to do! Do you remember Rosey Greer (the football player)and his needlepointing hobby?! Sheri

  16. I have a sensory-seeking powerhouse, too! She is now nearly seven, so life is much... calmer... at our house, but when she was a toddler and preschooler, I sometimes didn't know how the good Lord would see me through. You see, I also happen to be diagnosed with SPD, only I am an over-sensitive. And my daughter is adopted. Which just goes to show that God definitely has a wonderful sense of humor. Heh.

    Happy New Year! (And I adore Hartley's blog - such a resource for all of us.)


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